Substation Operator Apprentice I (Recent Graduate)

Company: Bonneville Power Administration

Open: 2020-04-07T00:00:00

Close: 2020-04-17T00:00:00

Status: ft

Compensation: $34.35


The Substation Operator Apprenticeship program is a formal 3 ½-year program consisting of seven steps (training periods). The apprentice must pass an oral review at the end of each step to remain in this program. Apprentices will be promoted to journeyman after successfully passing the seventh step examination.

The apprentice is expected to gain knowledge of various work processes with progressively difficult assignments throughout their apprenticeship.


A successful candidate in the position of Substation Operator Apprentice I will, under direct supervision of a journeyman Substation Operator or another journeyman Electrical Worker, operating high voltage electrical equipment in electrical power transmission system substations and on transmission lines. Specific tasks vary with the type of substation to be operated.

A Substation Operator Apprentice I:

  1. Operates energized high and low voltage electrical power transmission system substations following strict procedures and safety requirements.
  2. Checks and reviews station conditions. Responsible for station security and safety of others in the station.
  3. Performs inspections on all high and low voltage equipment in substations and keeps records. Periodically inspects station, including all components in the switchyard, outlying buildings, and the perimeter of the property.
  4. Monitors and operates various communications systems. All processes require clear oral communication.
  5. Completes associated documentation required of the above listed tasks.
  6. Drives 15-20% of the time in all weather conditions.

To be eligible for the Recent Graduate program you must be a:

  • Recent graduate who has completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.  OR
  • Student who within nine months of the closing date of this announcement will meet the education requirements and will graduate with a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution. A student may not be appointed to a position until they have graduated. OR
  • Preference eligible veteran who was precluded from applying due to their military service obligation beginning of their two-year eligibility period, upon release, or discharge from active duty. Eligibility for these veterans cannot exceed six years after degree or certificate completion.


Applicants must meet the requirements of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Job Qualification System for Trades and Labor Occupations (X-118C). Although a specific length of time and experience is not required for most trade and labor occupations, you must show through experience and training that you possess the quality level of knowledge and skill necessary to perform the duties of the position at the level for which you are applying. Qualification requirements emphasis is on the quality of experience, not necessarily the length of time.

Your resume is the key means we have for evaluating your skills, knowledge, and abilities, as they relate to this position. Therefore, we encourage you to be clear and specific when describing your experience.

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the job elements and screen-out listed below.

This job has a screen-out element which will be used to determine minimum eligibility for this job. Applicants who do not receive a minimum of two points on the screen-out elements, will be found ineligible. The Screen-out Element for this position is: Aptitude and Interest for Learning Trade Theory and Practice such as: Experience training or working in a vocational or trade related field or willingness and ability to learn a trade.

Job Elements:

  1. Aptitude and Interest to Learn Trade Theory and Practice (Screen-out).
  2. Ability to Follow Directions in a Shop.
  3. Reliability and Dependability
  4. Ability to Use Prints and Drawings
  5. Knowledge of Equipment Assembly, Installation and Repair
  6. Technical Practices

In addition to meeting the minimum qualifications for this position, you must pass a written aptitude examination demonstrating your potential for learning and advancing in a Substation Operator Apprentice position. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Trades Apprenticeship Test takes approximately 3-4 hours of time and will cover the following areas: high school level algebra and geometry; dexterity; arithmetic computations; ability to follow instructions and mechanical aptitude. You must take the test with Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, OR in order to continue to receive consideration, failure to do so will result in disqualification from this position. Failure to pass the examination will result in an ineligible rating. Only those applicants who attend a testing session and pass the written aptitude examination, prepared by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, will receive further consideration for the position.

Testing sessions will be held June 26th and 27th . The next Electrician Apprentice class is scheduled to begin in January 2021.

"Experience" refers to paid and unpaid experience. Examples of qualifying unpaid experience may include: volunteer work done through National Service programs (such as Peace Corps and AmeriCorps); as well as work for other community-based philanthropic and social organizations. Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills; and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

You must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of this announcement.



Shaunna Young
Phone 503-230-4018
Fax 100-000-0000

Bonneville Power Administration
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621
United States

EEO & Affirmative Action Statements

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants